Coach Jim Mora is already looking ahead at the 2013 recruiting sce
It may seem like Coach Mora just concluded his excellent first signing day, but the coaching staff is already working on the 2013 class. After signing 26 players last year, UCLA currently has 76 of 2013's 85 available scholarships called for, leaving only 9 available for 2013. That number includes the defections needed to reduce the number of scholarships to 85 in 2012. Obviously, there will be defections in the offseason next year, but it will be interesting to see how Coach Mora manages the roster over the next two seasons.
UCLA currently has 7 "commitments" this year. Of those, only CB Dashon Hunt committed to the program under Coach Neuheisel. Only two of them, Hunt and OLB Deon Hollins, play on the defensive side of the ball. We'll take a look at recruiting picture on the offensive side of the ball after the jump.
Status: UCLA's quarterback situation for 2013 is a little murky at the moment. Everyone assumes Brett Hundley will be the man and take over, but he hasn't played a game yet. Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut will both graduate after this season, leaving TJ Millweard, Jerry Neuheisel, Mike Fafaul, and potentially Devin Fuller behind Hundley. Despite the limited scholarships, the coaching staff correctly believes that a quarterback is a must sign this offseason.
Commits: Eddie Printz
Outlook: The staff locked in to Eddie Printz and has apparently stopped recruiting any other quarterbacks. The commitment to Printz is somewhat risky given that Printz is out of Georgia and has offers from SEC, ACC, and BIG10 schools, but Printz has been involved with UCLA and even came to this year's spring game.
Status: Jonathan Franklin will be graduating, leaving Damien Thigpen, Malcolm Jones, Jordon James, and Steven Manfro at the position. Thigpen, James, and Manfro are all potential F/HB hybrids, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the staff sign two running backs this year.
Commits: Keyante Green
Targets: Craig Lee; Pierre Cormier; Lavon Coleman
Outlook: Green is another Georgia recruit. At 5'9 190 lbs., he's a little on the small side. However, he's not a burner and does run with his pads low. Green has indicated that he intends to take his visit, and although he has also said that he remains committed to UCLA, the staff will need to fight for him as he holds numerous SEC, BIG10, and ACC offers.
The three remaining targets are all from California. Lee is the tallest at 6'0 188 lbs, Coleman is the heaviest at 5'11 210 lbs., and Cormier is the smallest at 5'11 180 lbs. All three are getting interest from the majority of the Pac 12, and Cormier has a couple of BIG10 offers.
Status: After a few lackluster recruiting classes, Coach Mora & Co. signed Jordan Payton, Javon Williams, Randall Goforth, Kenny Walker, Fabian Moreau, Paul Perkins, and Ahmaad Harris last year. However, Goforth may end up at CB, and Walker, Moreau, Perkins, and Harris all look like slot guys.
Targets: Darrel Daniels; Sebastian Larue; Devon Allen; Francis Owusu; John Ross; Demorea Stringfellow; Samajie Grant; Xavier Shepherd; Juwan Dickey
Outlook: Ideally, a class of Larue, Owusu, and Ross would be excellent. They are all local and have each shown interest in UCLA. In fact, all of the listed targets are California recruits except Allen, who is out of Arizona, Dickey, who is Printz's teammate in Georgia.
Daniels, Stringfellow, and Owusu are all big, physical receivers. They each stand 6'3 and are each getting a lot of national attention. Of the three, Owusu appears to favor UCLA the most, but it will be difficult to pry him away from Stanford should he admitted.
Larue is out of Santa Monica HS, so the staff should have plenty of opportunity to convince him to come to Westwood. At 5'11 185, he has good size and is also getting a lot of national attention.
Allen is another big receiver with good straight line speed. He stands 6'1 190 lbs. and has offers from all over the country. UW does appear to be his leader partly due to family ties in the area, but he's a guy to keep an eye on.
Ross is a bit smaller at 5'9 175, but he's electric with the ball. He plays at Jordan HS in Long Beach, and has potential as a return man as well as CB.
Grant, Shepherd, and Dickey are all a little less heralded than the others, but UCLA has shown interest in all of them. Dickey is the biggest at 6'1 185 lbs. He doesn't seem as willing to leave the southeast as Printz is, but Printz will have an entire season to work on him. Grant also has good size at 6'0 175. He's also a candidate to play CB. Shepherd is another smallish slot that Mazzone loves. He's only 5'9 165 lbs., but is said to have been tearing up the summer circuits.
Status: Replacing Fauria at the Y will be a tough proposition; 6'8 athletic tight ends simply do not grow on trees. However, how Mazzone utilized Fauria may go a long ways towards gathering interest with the tight ends who are out there. Last year, Ian Taubler and Nate Iese were both signed with potential to play the Y. However, Taubler may grow into an OT and Iese looks dynamic at OLB/DE.
Targets: Thomas Duarte; Charlie Reid
Status: Duarte is a Mater Dei product, while Reid hails from All Saints Episcopal in Texas, so they both have good pedigree. They're both similar in size at 6'4 225, and both are much better receivers than blockers.
Status: While Rick Neuheisel left the offensive in exponentially better shape than the condition it was in when he arrived, we all saw in spring practice that it still where it needs to be. Getting Xavier Su'a Filo back was huge, but the line needs more depth and talent across the board.
Commits:OT Erik Bunte; OT Sean Dowling; LS Cole Mazza
Targets: OT Nico Falah; OT Christian Morris; OG Scott Quessenbery; OG John Lopez; C Khaliel Rodgers; OG Sean Harlow; OT Kenny Lacy; OT Aaron Cochran; OG Cameron Hunt; OT Riley Sorensen
Outlook: Once again, Coach Klemm and UCLA are pursuing a lot of targets. Klemm is quite the recruiter, and each of the above listed include UCLA at or near the top of their lists. Obviously, UCLA won't sign all of them, or even half of them for that matter, but it will be interesting to see how the recruiting dominoes fall here.
Bunte is a mammoth at 6'7 310 lbs. He certainly looks like he may be able to step right in and play. Dowling is a little smaller at 6'6 265 lbs., but if he is able to put on weight this year, he may be able to provide depth next season as well. Mazza is said to be the best LS prospect to come out in years. One could argue about the wisdom of signing a LS in a year with limited scholarships available, but if Mazza is as good as advertised, I think it's a good move.
Of the targets, Falah is the highest rated. Scout lists him as the #3 OT prospect in the country. His father went to UCLA, so Klemm may have a recruiting advantage despite the fact that Falah essentially has his choice of where to go to school.
Morris, Rodgers, and Lacy are all out of state prospects. Out of the three, Morris does appear to favor UCLA the most. At 6'6 285 lbs., he has good size and could probably play immediately if necessary. He has plenty of offers closer to home in Tennessee, and I do think it would be a coup to keep him away from the Volunteers. Rodgers is one of the top C prospects in the country, and UCLA is said to have a decent chance despite Rodgers having many offers closer to home. Lacy is the top OT prospect in Arizona. He is 6'6 270 lbs. and has quite a few offers to choose from. Of the three out of state prospects, Lacy looks like the longest shot.
Quessenberry, Lopez, and Harlow may be competing for a spot or two at OG. Lopez and Harlow are both Orange County products, and Quessenberry isn't much further south in Encinitas. Lopez is the biggest and most heralded at 6'5 305 lbs., and UCLA has been recruiting him for years, but Harlow and Quessenberry have been climbing the ranks.
Cochran, Sorensen, and Hunt are all a little less heralded, and only Cochran currently holds an offer. At 6'8 350 lbs., Cochran dwarfs all of the other prospects. While Sorensen and Hunt do not currently hold offers, I do think they are likely candidates to receive them in the near future. Hunt has been lights out in the summer circuit and Sorensen is Bunte's teammate at Santa Margarita.
That rounds up our way early look at UCLA's recruiting efforts on the offensive side of the ball. Be sure to check back in tomorrow where we'll take a look at the defensive recruiting scene.